The season of Lent has arrived. I’ve never been super great at the “giving something up” thing. I have done shopping bans, I’ve tried to not swear, I tried to stop picking my fingers one year (it’s a very gross habit, we’ll talk about that another time), I gave up pop one year when I actually still used to drink it. But while these things were all sacrifices and good challenges, I never found myself feeling enlightened and fulfilled. Last year I did a 40 days of gratitude challenge, finding something in each day to be grateful for. I really enjoyed that and this year came up with something even better.
40 Days of Kindness. Each day of Lent I will do some sort of kindness gesture. I was going to make a calendar and assign something to each day, but then my two week headcold got in my way and didn’t allow my brain to do quite that much work. So instead my plan is to wake up each day and try to find something kind to do for someone and then write it down at the end of each day. It might be something as simple as holding the door for someone, smiling at someone who looks like they need it, giving grace to the person at work I’m less than fond of or reading an extra story to my son at bed time. Or it might be something bigger like the drive-thru difference at the coffee shop, sending a note to a friend I haven’t talked to in awhile, sending someone flowers to brighten their day or maybe even going and serving food at a shelter or bringing food to a food shelf.
There are a couple of reasons I decided on doing a kindness challenge for Lent. The biggest one is kind of obvious – due to the mess of things in our country right now, there is SO MUCH NEGATIVITY in the air, it makes me want to scream. And you bet I’m still very anti-you know who and I’m not happy about the way things are going, but one way I can fight back and resist is by showing kindness. The second reason is to set an example for Ollie. I want to teach him how to show kindness to others. I hope to involve him in this challenge. He is very much in the threenager “Me, Me, ME” stage right now, so I’m hoping this will help him see beyond his little world just a little bit.
Kindness Matters. It begins at home. It begins with me. I’ll check in as I go and I encourage all of you to try to do a kind act here or there as well, whether you’re religious or not. We could all benefit from a little more kindness.